First off, I want to thank you all for your kind words and thoughts about my niece. She's doing much better and is home.
She had a really bad staff infection which resulted in surgery. They had to remove about 4 inches of flesh from her arm. It's pretty gross. I would add a picture, but this being a food blog...that might not be sanitary...or hunger inducing.
The infection got worse before it got better and she had to be given a wound vac. She has it attached to her at all times and will have to go to wound specialists to get her dressings changed.
She may have to have physical therapy to get her arm back up and running...but that's a ways off. The wound has to heal first.
As far as the other stuff goes...we put a deposit on a house and are just waiting to finalize the lease. That's a load off my mind for sure!!
The Hubble did not get his promotion, but it was early anyway...and a long shot. Next year should definitely be his year. So no worries there.
And for Baby N...we are hoping he or she cooperates at the ultrasound appointment tomorrow. If you are interested in casting your guess/vote for whether Baby N will be a boy or a girl, I wrote about it and put up a poll on my other blog. You can make that jump here.
Other than that, we are just waiting to move. We need to get packing...but you know I have to keep baking/cooking while all of this crazy stuff happens!!
As it happens, one of my very favorite ladies ever, Julie over at Willow Bird Baking, is hosting a cheesecake challenge!!
Now, if you know anything about me...you know I can't pass up a good challenge. Remember these homemake croissants???
Yup, that was a WBB challenge too!
So when Julie challenged her readers to make one of her amazingly splendid cheesecakes, of course I jumped at the chance!
I chose to make her most famous cheesecake of all. Coffee Cookie Dough Cheesecake.
Doesn't that sound utterly delicious?? Well I'm here to tell you...it is!
You begin with an Oreo cookie crust filled with a chocolate ganache, top that with a coffee cheesecake filling, followed by a sweet topping. Then carefully layer on a chocolate chip cookie dough disk the size of the whole cheesecake. And for the final touches, add more ganache to the top!
Can we say intense, people???
Now, I'm not a cheesecake person. The only other cheesecake I've ever loved and continued to fantasize about is this goat cheese cheesecake with pineapple vanilla compote.
Believe me when I tell you that this cheesecake is well worth the effort and time to make!
The layers compliment each other well. I enjoyed my slice with a cup of coffee (of course!).
The only bad thing about this cake is that it was gone faster than I could take a picture of the inside! So if you want to see the delectable layers, check out Julie's original post about this cheesecake.
And just one more thing before I let you drool over this cake.
I made the mistake of weighing this cake when it was done....
Now I know for sure you are ready to eat some! Here's how it went for me:
First up! Ingredients: Flour, sugar, salt, brown sugar, sour cream, heavy cream, light molasses, instant coffee granules, vanilla, eggs, butter, chocolate chips, Oreo cookies, and of course...cream cheese!
Start by finely processing your cookies into crumbs.
And while the food processor is whirring around...go ahead and grab a glass of milk because I KNOW you are snacking on the extra cookies.
To the cookie crumbs, add some melted butter and salt. Stir it all up until the cookie crumbs are moist, then press the mixture into a buttered springform pan.
In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream until hot. Then pour it over some chocolate. Let it sit for a few minutes then whisk away until the whole mixture is smooth.
Pour about 2 cups of that melted chocolate ganache into the crust. Reserve the rest for decorating the cake once it's done. Throw the ganache filled crust into the freezer about 30 minutes until it is set.
Now cream together the cream cheese and sugar until well blended. Then add the flour.
In a small bowl, dissolve the coffee granules into the vanilla and molasses.
And dump it into your cream cheese mixture...mix it all up.
Then beat in the eggs, one at a time.
Pour that mixture over the ganache in the pan. Place the pan in a water bath and put it all in the oven.
Once that part is cooked, remove it from the oven and put it on a cooling rack. Then prepare the topping by whisking together some sugar, sour cream and vanilla.
Pour that topping over the hot cheescake and put it back in the oven. Once that is done, stick the whole thing in the fridge for about 3 hours.
To make the cookie dough...cream together the butter and brown sugar.
Add the flour and vanilla.
Stir in the chocolate chips. (This is an eggless cookie dough so go ahead and take a taste...you know you want to).
Line a 9 inch round cake pan with parchment paper. Carefully spread the cookie dough evenly in the pan. Place it in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
When everything is done, place the cookie dough layer (face down) onto the cheesecake.
Decorate with the remaining ganache, serve and enjoy!!!
And let's just forget about the fact that this thing weighs 7 pounds. Maybe we can call it a 7 pounds in heaven cheesecake???
Coffee Cookie Dough Fudge Cheesecake
Retrieved from Willow Bird Baking
For the crust
- 32 chocolate sandwich cookies, finely processed into crumbs
- 5 1/3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- Small pinch of salt
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- 20 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoons instant coffee granules
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1½ teaspoons mild-flavored (light) molasses
- 3 large eggs
- 1½ cups sour cream
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract\
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 4 to 6 tablespoons water (I used 4)
For the crust
- Butter a 9-inch springform pan.
- Combine the chocolate cookie crumbs, melted butter and salt in a small bowl. Toss with a fork to moisten all of the crumbs.
- Press into a thin layer covering the bottom and sides of the springform pan (at least 3 inches up the sides). I did this using a smooth glass to press crumbs into place.
For the ganache
- Bring the cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan.
- Place the chocolate in a medium bowl.
- Once the cream reaches a simmer, pour the cream over the chocolate and let stand 1-2 minutes.
- Whisk in small circles until a smooth ganache has formed.
- Pour 1.5-2 cups of the ganache over the bottom of the crust.
- Freeze until the ganache layer is firm, about 30 minutes.
- Reserve the remaining ganache; cover and let stand at room temperature for later decorating.
- Preheat the oven to 350˚ F and position a rack in the middle of the oven.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until well blended.
- Beat in the flour.
- In a small bowl, combine the coffee granules, vanilla and molasses, stirring until the coffee dissolves.
- Add to the cream cheese mixture and beat until well incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl between each addition.
- Pour the filling over the cold ganache in the crust.
- Enclose the bottom of the springform pan in tightly wrapped foil and place it in a baking dish. Fill the baking dish with hot water about halfway up the cheesecake pan, careful not to let the moisture touch the cheesecake.
- Bake until the top is lightly browned, puffed and cracked at the edges, and the center moves only very slightly when the pan is lightly shaken, about 1 hour.
- Transfer to a wire cooling rack. Cool 15 minutes while preparing the topping (maintaining the oven temperature.)
- Whisk together the sour cream, sugar and vanilla in a small bowl.
- Pour the topping over the hot cheesecake, spreading to cover the filling completely.
- Bake until the topping is set, about 10-15 minutes.
- Return to the cooling rack and let cool at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
- Transfer to the refrigerator and let cool at least 3 hours, until completely chilled and set.
- Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl.
- Stir in the flour, salt, vanilla and chips.
- Add the water, one tablespoon at a time, until you have reached a cookie dough consistency.
- Line a 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper.
- Spoon the cookie dough into the pan and flatten to an even layer. Freeze the cookie dough layer until ready to use (at least 30 minutes).
- Wrap a warm towel around the outside of the springform pan to help loosen the crust from the sides.
- Carefully remove the springform. Transfer the cake to a serving platter.
- Turn cookie dough out of cake pan and place layer on top of cheesecake, pressing it gently into place.
- Place the reserved ganache in a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip and use to garnish the top of the cake as desired.
- Chill until the ganache is completely firm, at least 6 hours.
- Slice, serve and enjoy!!